Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sales and the Meaning Thereof

Before you read any further, be advised this is not a blog about the defintions of sales and marketing in the writing world. There are enough articles from experts on the topic, and I am far from one of those. However, I do want to give you all a personal perspective of what sales means to me. The biggest thing is validation. It's always rewarding to put something out there and know others find it interesting, exiting or enjoyable. Knowing someone got lost in a world you created for a few hours is the greatest high in the world.

Anyhoo, over my last few blogs, I've discussed a few topics that have been rattling around my addled brain as I work on my plethora of projects. Or read those of others. Well, I just finished reading one of my sales statements for the month of August and I have to say, I'm rather shocked, which is why I chose this topic for today's blog.

Personally, I'm one of those authors who get excited when I sell even one copy of a book because well, that's one person besides a critique partner who wanted to read what I've written. And they're paying for the privilege, unlike a CP where I've foisted the WIP onto their unsuspecting brainpan. It's funny, you each of my books' releases, I've dreamed of awesome sales that break all kinds of records. (That's the dream for everyone, right?) And while I haven't set the world on fire, I can admit that I've hit the best-sellers lists at my publishers. What amazes me, is that some books I show steady sales for...even if less than ten per month...are titles I've had out for a few years. (Let's hear it for the almighty backlist!) That is so surprising to me, not to mention rewarding. I almost want to say to the computer screen, "You mean people are reading my new stuff and going back to find my older books....that's so cool." - The computer screen isn't nearly as impressed as I.

Now, for a word about word-of-mouth. I'll admit, my checkbook has been pretty damn low this year. I haven't had the cashflow to do the amount of advertising in mags like Romantic Times, as I have in the past. Most of the time, I've had to divert royalties to pay household expenses. Sigh. I've had to cut back, especially when I had to purchase a new notebook computer a few months ago. While I got a great deal, it still cut into my writing checking account. (Yes, I keep a separate one from the household account, it's easier to account for writing related expenses that way.)So, to what do I attribute the sales this month of my title Scythe that blew the doors off the rest of my books? Taking into account this book has been out for three months, and the only promotion I've been able to do for it has been my cover on the Samhellion newsletter, and my avatar on Romance Divas. I've put it on blogs, and things, but quite honestly, I think there's been a trickle down effect. Kind of like Reganomics for Readers. A few reviewers read the book and loved it, wrote it up on their sites, giving it high marks and awesome praise. They've pimped the book to others, who purchased copies...but all this takes some time. Like a river flowing down the meandering path around the mountains, it takes a while for it to reach the ocean, but eventually it does reach it.

When I think of the sales enjoyed by other authors, my mind kind of boggles. I can't even imagine what it's like to sell tens of thousands of copies at a pop. I hope one day to know that feeling intimately. For now, I'll take what I can get and feel grateful for each and every sale. Maybe that should be my new slogan on my website. "MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott- conquering the world one book sale at a time."

A special shout out to Mark. Big hugs and congrats on your number one sales!!! Yay!!! I tried to post on your blog, but as per usual this site did not accept my comments. (I have trouble logging on for comments for some reason.)

To Lynn - Congrats on your first release. I wish you many, many sales and new titles to join the first of what I hope is many.

To Wendy - Less than 12 days now from your release. I'm sending up prayers for mega sales.

To Gracen - Congrats on your latest contract. That's just awesome!

If, I've missed anyone who's posted good news lately, I apologize. I wanted to get everyone in on the group congrats and back slapping. We have such a talented group of writers here, we need to celebrate more often.

Cyber cake and Champagne all around!

Love and Big Sales to all,



Mark Alders said...

Thank you so much, Kate! *big hugs*

I too have problems with blogger comments. Some days I just can't get on at all to comment even after I have logged on! Oh well...

Very good and thoughtful post here, mate. Excellent stuff.


Sierra Wolfe said...

Kate, you are all kinds of awesomeness wrapped up in one wicked writer! I love ya to death. That post is so inspiring!!! Thanks for sharing with us. Congrats on the good sales. You deserve every bit of them!!!

Big hugs

Wendy_Ely said...

Thanks so much, Kate! You're awesome!!

Tierney O'Malley said...

So true, Kate. I don't care if I sold one book. One is enough to push me forward, to keep writing. To know that someone actually bought and read the book gives me a sense of worth. I'm a new writer. I don't expect a big check every month. So a few sales--right now--is good. At least I know my books are getting noticed.

Here's to us wicked thorn and roses! Wahoo! More inspiration, sales, readers, to us all. :- )

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